Pro on the Go Video: People Are a Problem. What’s the Solution?

In this episode of our Pro on the Go video series, we asked Nick Slavik, owner of Nick Slavik Painting in New Prague, Minnesota, about the best business advice he has ever received.


“So basically, all the problems you have in business revolve around people. You’re a person, a lot of problems come from that. Your clients are people and your apprentices are people, and people add the most variables to a business. So, if you can sort of work to minimize the variables, you’re better off.

“But, actually through the PDCA and somebody I met through Sherwin-Williams, I got one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. It was somebody who ran a crew of maybe 50 or 60 painters and I said, “You must have this solved, you do this every day. You have tons of people. Your whole life must be dedicated to figuring out and solving this problem. Give me the solution.”

“And, that person basically said, “You’re never going to solve this. It’s something you need to put effort into every day and it’s never going to go away. And, the more effort you put into it the better it’s going to be.

“And, immediately like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders because I thought I just didn’t have the solution to people problems. I knew how to handle my clients. I attract a certain type of client – a self-selecting group – and over the years I’ve gotten very good at handling them. It was just the apprentice side now that I needed work on. And uh, by putting in repetitions and then having that perspective from that other senior person in the industry, it helped huge.”

More tips from Nick

  • How do you take a newly constructed cabin and make it look like it’s been nestled in the north woods of Minnesota for the last hundred years? That was the challenge a customer presented to Nick Slavik. See how he handled it in our story (and video) about the project titled Best of Both Worlds.
  • In addition, read more about the most important things Nick has learned as pro painter in our What I’ve Learned Q&A series.

This article was originally published on March 20, 2019. Nick Slavik was interviewed for the Pro on the Go series by Mike Starling, PPC Editor. Watch more interviews with pro painters on the Sherwin-Williams contractor website.